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Awards Radar Staff Top Ten Lists for 2020

Carey Mulligan (front) stars as "Cassie" and Bo Burnham (back) stars as "Ryan“ in director Emerald Fennell’s PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, a Focus Features release. Credit : Merie Weismiller Wallace / Focus Features

Given how unusual 2020 has been as a film year (not to mention, life-wise), is it any surprise that it’s in February that we’re releasing the full Top Ten lists for the Awards Radar staff? Yeah, I didn’t think so, either. You folks already know my ten favorite films of the year (found here), but what about everyone else? Well, now you can see the lists, in all of their glory. They’re quite diverse, too, highlighting all that cinema had to offer in 2020. So, give them a gander, let us know who had the list you love most, and be sure to share your Top Tens as well!

Here now are the ten best films for 2020 from the Awards Radar staff:

Joey Magidson

Courtesy of Focus Features

10. Buffaloed

9. Mank

8. Banana Split

7. Palm Springs

6. Spontaneous

5. The King of Staten Island

4. The Way Back

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7

2. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

1. Promising Young Woman

Steven Prusakowski

Courtesy AppleTV+

10. The Assistant

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

8. Dick Johnson is Dead

7. Mank

6. Sound of Metal

5. The Way Back

4. i’m thinking of ending things

3. Beastie Boys Story

2. Wolfwalkers

1. Promising Young Woman

Max Joseph

©2020 Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved.

10. Wonder Woman 1984

9. Birds of Prey

8. The Father

7. The Prom

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

5. One Night in Miami…

4. Hamilton

3. Promising Young Woman

2. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

1. Soul

Diego Andaluz

Last and First Men

10. Promising Young Woman

9. The Wanting Mare

8. Malcolm & Marie

7. Black Bear

6. The Father

5. She Dies Tomorrow

4. Nomadland

3. Tenet

2. i’m thinking of ending things

1. Last and First Men

Mitchell Beaupre


10. House of Hummingbird

9. Bacurau

8. Education

7. Sound of Metal

6. The Assistant

5. Mangrove

4. Possessor

3. First Cow

2. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

1. Minari

Grace Carbone


10. Sound of Metal

9. The Invisible Man

8. Soul

7. Boys State

6. Happiest Season

5. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

4. Kajillionaire

3. The Half of It

2. Da 5 Bloods

1. American Utopia

Niki Cruz


10. Athlete A

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

8. Mucho Mucho Amor

7. The Invisible Man

6. Miss Juneteenth

5. Sylvie’s Love

4. Promising Young Woman

3. Da 5 Bloods

2. Sound of Metal

1. The Forty-Year-Old Version

Miles Foster


10. Mank

9. Sound of Metal

8. The Gentleman

7. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

5. One Night in Miami…

4. Da 5 Bloods

3. Tenet

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7

1. Promising Young Woman

Abe Friedtanzer


10. Black Bear

9. Alice Junior

8. Charm City Kings

7. Dating Amber

6. Palm Springs

5. Wendy

4. Herself

3. Mank

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7

1. Promising Young Woman

Robert Hamer

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Courtesy of Amazon Studios

10. Sound of Metal

9. Palm Springs

8. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

7. The Wild Goose Lake

6. Babyteeth

5. Dick Johnson is Dead

4. Another Round

3. And Then We Danced

2. Wolfwalkers

1. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Myles Hughes

Warner Bros.

10. i’m thinking of ending things

9. His House

8. Palm Springs

7. Promising Young Woman

6. Mank

5. The Vast of Night

4. The Trial of the Chicago 7

3. One Night in Miami…

2. Freaky

1. Judas and the Black Messiah

Chris James

Searchlight Pictures

10. Babyteeth

9. Another Round

8. Boys State

7. Crip Capm

6. Soul

5. Da 5 Bloods

4. Minari

3. What the Constitution Means to Me

2. Nomadland

1. Promising Young Woman

Ryan McQuade

Warner Bros.

10. Boys State

9. The Nest

8. I Carry You With Me

7. i’m thinking of ending things

6. Minari

5. Dick Johnson is Dead

4. Mangrove

3. Tenet

2. Mank

1. American Utopia

Matt Passantino


10. The Invisible Man

9. Let Him Go

8. The Nest

7. I’m Your Woman

6. Promising Young Woman

5. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

4. Driveways

3. Da 5 Bloods

2. Nomadland

1. First Cow

Shane Slater


10. Night of the Kings

9. On the Record

8. The Way I See It

7. 40 Years a Prisoner

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

5. And Then We Danced

4. Dick Johnson is Dead

3. Time

2. Nomadland

1. Collective

Catherine Springer


10. The Vast of Night

9. Da 5 Bloods

8. Birds of Prey

7. First Cow

6. Wolfwalkers

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7

4. Nomadland

3. Promising Young Woman

2. The Forty-Year-Old Version

1. Palm Springs

Casey Tinston

Awesomeness Films

10. The King of Staten Island

9. Buffaloed

8. Our Friend

7. Banana Split

6. Soul

5. Palm Springs

4. The Invisible Man

3. Pieces of a Woman

2. Promising Young Woman

  1. Spontaneous

Kendall Tinston

Universal Pictures

10. Hunter Hunter

9. Uncle Frank

8. Banana Split

7. Birds of Prey

6. The King of Staten Island

5. Promising Young Woman

4. Spontaneous

3. Relic

2. Our Friend

1. The Invisible Man

For those looking for some stats, here are a few for both these lists as well as the previously announced Joey Awards. Thanks to Mitchell for compiling these!

Most placements on staff Top 10s: 


Promising Young Woman


Never Rarely Sometimes Always 


Da 5 Bloods 


Palm Springs 

Sound of Metal 


The Invisible Man 

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 


The Trial of the Chicago 7 

*Promising Young Woman had five #1 placements. The only other film to have multiple #1 placements was American Utopia, which only appeared on 2 lists but was #1 on both of them. 

Highest nomination totals at Joey Awards: 

Mank – 11 

The Outpost – 9 

The Trial of the Chicago 7 – 9 

Da 5 Bloods – 7 

Never Rarely Sometimes Always – 7 

Promising Young Woman – 7 

Tenet – 5 

Movies with more than 1 win at Joey Awards: 

Mank – 3 

Promising Young Woman – 3 

Tenet – 3 

Never Rarely Sometimes Always – 2 

Soul – 2 

The Trial of the Chicago 7 – 2 


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[…] Awards Radar Staff Top Ten Lists for 2020 […]

2 years ago

So for the past few years under the Awards Circuit Top 10 Lists, I’d have fun determining the weighted Top 10 of the entire staff by using a point system where one person’s #1 is worth 10 points, their #2 is worth 9 points, #3 is 8 points, and so on to see how many points a film gets among the whole staff. So I decided to keep a tally as I went down these lists. It wasn’t until the bottom that I saw that Mitchell already covered everything with his own helpful stats section. All of this is to say that I’m not trying to be a jerk and one-up your stats or anything, I just really, really don’t know what else to do with this information…

Awards Radar Staff Weighted Top 10 of 2020:

10. Spontaneous, Dick Johnson is Dead, Sound of Metal, First Cow, Minari (22 points)
9. Wolfwalkers, Soul (23 points)
8. Tenet, The Invisible Man (24 points)
7. Mank (29 points)
6. Palm Springs (30 points)
5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (39 points)
4. Da 5 Bloods (40 points)
3. Nomadland (41 points)
2. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (46 points)
1. Promising Young Woman (98 points)

I have not yet seen Nomadland, Minari, Palm Springs, Wolfwalkers, and many others, but for now my Top 10 of 2020:

10. Sputnik
9. The Lodge
8. Over the Moon
7. Babyteeth
6. Birds of Prey
5. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
4. Beanpole
3. The Invisible Man
2. One Night in Miami
1. The Assistant

As per the prompt at the top, its close but my favorite list is probably Kendall’s because it was the only list that mentioned Relic and Uncle Frank, it was the highest anyone put Birds of Prey, and it definitely has my favorite #1 pick (although Collective and Borat are also pretty great #1s). Also, props to Mitchell and Steven for including The Assistant in their lists, as it would have been a major bummer to see it ignored completely. All these lists are great.


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[…] the test of time”. Pretty high praise, right? Well, we backed that up when it dominated our staff’s lists of the best movies of 2020, with no film even coming close to it in terms of total mentions and number one […]


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2 years ago

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